Afghanistan Vet Helped Dozens Escape During Orlando Shooting

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Situations like what happened in Orlando this past weekend are difficult to swallow. The discussions that are opened up about gun control are emotional and heated. Hearing the victims’ stories in the weeks following the attack is heartbreaking. Through the overwhelming sadness, there are also stories that remind you that American citizens are strong, resilient people.

U.S. Marine veteran, Imran Yousef, is a bouncer at Pulse nightclub. He previously served in Afghanistan, and his training and ability to remain calm in the face of hysteria helped save the lives of dozens of people Saturday night.

From CBS News:

‘The initial one was three or four (shots). That was a shock. Three of four shots go off and you could tell it was a high caliber,” he said. “Everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone.’

Yousuf knew just beyond that pack of panicked people — was a door — and safety. But someone had to unlatch it.

He called out to those closest to the door to open it, but his yelling fell on deaf ears. In the commotion and incredulity of what was unfolding, it’s not surprising that most of the patrons were paralyzed in fear. Realizing that he was probably the only person able to think clearly and act, he somehow made his way through the tightly packed hall and managed to get the door open, people came pouring out of the doorway and ran as far as they could.

By Yousef’s own estimates, 60-70 people escaped through that door. It was only when recounting the events of Saturday night that the full weight of what happened began to sink in for him.

“I wish I could have saved more to be honest,” he said through tears. “There are a lot of people that are dead …there are a lot of people that are dead.”

Despite the lives he wishes he could’ve saved, Yousef did a great service Saturday night, taking charge and ensuring the safety of as many people as he could.

[via CBS News]

Image via YouTube

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